As the Delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps the country, the U.S. is buying more vaccines. Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, said Friday the government bought 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine.
That’ll expand the total U.S. order of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to half a billion. 40% of that has already been delivered.
All this comes amid a debate over whether or not Americans will need a booster dose come fall. The deal gives the government the option to buy an updated version of the vaccine targeting new variants of the virus.
Earlier this month, Pfizer said it and BioNTech plan to ask U.S. and European regulators to authorize a booster dose. But the U.S. says fully vaccinated Americans don’t need a third shot at this time.
The latest U.S. deal comes atop the 200 million additional doses the government bought from Moderna last month.